Ffynnongroyw girl tunes into a world full of sound


Jamie Nield-Siddall

A TODDLER who is hearing her first sounds after pioneering surgery has at last been able to listen of her favourite Disney programmes.

Little Amelie Ring, who is 20 months old, had been deaf since birth but she is now one week in to her new life after being introduced to a world with sound.

On April 17, Amelie had an implant in her left ear switched on after life-changing surgery earlier this month, where bilateral cochlear electronic implants – which provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf – were inserted.

Mum Vicky, 31, said Amelie is reacting really well to sound, adding that the second implant is set to be turned on this week.

Speaking from the family home in Ffynnongroyw, near Holywell, she said: “She’s starting to take notice of all the different sounds now.

“We have been told she hears like we would if we went to a restaurant and people were speaking French.

“She hears all the noise but doesn’t understand. We need to train her to hear.

“We have been playing games and making a big drama about noises.

“We took her for her first speech and therapy class on Tuesday and they were really pleased with her progress.”

Vicky, who also has a six-month-old son, Louis, said it is very early days for Amelie’s journey into the world of sound but added:“It’s going well”.

“You can’t have the telly on and talk to her at the same time,” she said.

“She has been watching her favourite Disney programmes and it looks like she is listening to them.

“And she has heard her little brother crying and she doesn’t like that.”

Vicky previously told the Leader that her and husband Robin, 41, had feared Amelie may never have heard sound after a first attempt at inserting the implants went wrong in December.

Amelie stopped breathing after receiving an anaesthetic ahead of the operation and surgeons had to abandon the procedure.

Moments after Amelie first heard sound almost a fortnight ago, Vicky described her mix of emotions – saying it was “strange” and “amazing” that her daughter could finally hear.

Now the implants are activated, Amelie can hear a whisper sound, and as the weeks go by the sound will be altered, gradually getting louder.

Amelie, who was born profoundly deaf when she arrived 28 weeks premature, suffered a major loss of blood while inside Vicky, resulting in her having nine blood transfusions and spending her first 102 days in Glan Clwyd Hospital.

The toddler has also undergone a heart operation during her short life.

See full story in the Leader

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